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Tuesday Morning - February 1, 2011

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February 1, 2011

Table of Contents

2011 Legislative Issue Paper Released

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans

SNA Meal Pattern Task Force Named

HeLP America Act of 2011

LAC Updates

Senator Lugar to Receive Gene White Award

Upcoming FRAC Webinar 

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

2011 Legislative Issue Paper Released

Each year, the School Nutrition Association presents Congress with critical issues facing school nutrition professionals and the more than 31 million children who depend on safe, healthy meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
With the enactment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296) and the release of the USDA’s proposed updates to the meal pattern, protecting funds for school nutrition programs and helping them meet new standards is more important than ever. 

The 2011 Legislative Issue Paper focuses on several important issues to ease the burden on school nutrition programs. SNA’s top priorities for this session of Congress include:

  • Equity in School Lunch Pricing:  SNA asks Congress to test Section 205 of Public Law 111-296 with a pilot program in a limited number of schools before it becomes national policy. 
  • Indirect Costs:  SNA requests that Congress follow up with the Secretary to guarantee that only those expenses “necessary to provide meals under the Act” are paid from the school food service account.
  • Breakfast Commodities:  As a part of the next Farm Bill, SNA is seeking ten cents per breakfast in USDA commodities.
  • Food Service Management Companies:  SNA requests that Congress give USDA the authority, in coordination with the states, to review and monitor compliance of all bids and contracts between local school districts and for-profit food service management companies. SNA also requests that Congress require the Secretary to develop a standard contract that school districts may use between local school districts and food service management companies.

The Legislative Issue Paper is based on input from SNA members and is drafted by members of the Association’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee. After final approval from the Board of Directors, the paper is used to guide SNA’s legislative actions. School Nutrition Association members will take the messages of this year’s Legislative Issue Paper to Congress, as part of the 39th annual SNA Legislative Action Conference (LAC), to be held March 6-9, 2011 in Washington, DC.

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans  

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) on Monday, January 31, 2011. There are two new overarching concepts which are: maintain caloric balance and focus on nutrient dense foods and beverages. According to the USDA, the goal is to “promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and reduce prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity.” 

The 2010 DGA includes 23 Key Recommendations for all Americans and six additional recommendations for specific population groups. It is comprised of six chapters that summarize and create awareness about individual nutrients and food components into a unified set of recommendations for healthy eating that can be adopted by the public. The DGAs will include a new section within the “Balancing Calories to Manage Weight” chapter to highlight environmental factors such as portion sizes at restaurants and the availability and accessibility of nutrient dense foods. Five groups of foods and beverages have been highlighted for change - sodium, calories from solid fats and added sugars, refined grains, fats, trans fats and cholesterol, alcohol has also been added as a special section. 

The DGAs are based on scientific, evidence-based nutrition research and have been published jointly every five years since 1980 by USDA and HHS.  

To learn more about the DGAs, visit: http://www.dietaryguidelines.gov

SNA Meal Pattern Task Force Named

The Task Force on Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs has been established to explore the newly proposed USDA meal patterns. The Task Force will begin its discussions by developing SNA’s formal submission to USDA on the proposed regulation.

Members of the Task Force were appointed by Nancy Rice and are listed below:

  • Helen Phillips (Chair)
  • Jean Ronnei
  • Sally Spero
  • Donna Martin
  • Doug Davis
  • Lynn Harvey
  • Sara Gasiorowski
  • Cindy Brooks
  • Lora Gilbert
  • Wendy Weyer
  • Mimi Ford 

SNA members will be able to comment with concerns and ideas through an SNA blog throughout the process. The board of directors will then vote on all comments in March/April and will formally submit its comments to USDA by the April 13 deadline.

HeLP America Act of 2011

The Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention (HeLP) America Act of 2011 (S. 1342) was reintroduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). The Act is not only focusing on schools but on workplaces, grocery stores and health care centers nation-wide by offering incentives to help take the steps necessary to improve the health of all Americans.

Harkin commented on the “need to integrate health and wellness into all elements of American communities – from our schools and workplaces to our grocery store aisles and restaurants. By providing people the information and resources they need to live longer, healthier lives, the HeLP America Act will empower people to take care of their health, boosting overall quality of life and lowering our spiraling health care costs.”

To view the entire summary, visit: http://harkin.senate.gov/documents/pdf/4c2b8b9dc4e74.pd  

 
 

LAC Updates

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will address LAC attendees during the closing general session on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. Almost three hours will be devoted to discussing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296) and the recently released proposed meal pattern regulations. Secretary Vilsack will kick off the discussion and USDA staff will be present to listen to comments and answer questions in this lively, and interactive exchange. SNA will also be collecting attendees’ thoughts for use in comments on the new meal pattern regulations. Please be sure to stay through this important Wednesday morning session!  

The Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill is the new location for the LAC Annual Banquet for 2011. This is a great shift from previous years because of its proximity to Capitol Hill. Situated less than one mile from Capitol Hill, the Hyatt will be more convenient to meet with members of Congress during the Charge to the Hill. 

For further information about this year’s exciting LAC schedule and to register, please visit http://www.schoolnutrition.org/LAC.

Senator Lugar to Receive Gene White Award 

Senator Richard Lugar will be presented with the Global Child Nutrition Foundation’s (GCNF) Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition. The presentation will take place at GCNF’s 2011 “A Possible Dream Gala” during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference. The Gala will be held on Monday, March 7, 2011, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Senator Lugar has been a champion of domestic and international child nutrition and anti-hunger programs throughout his career.

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) will serve as the Gala Chair. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and USAID Administrator Raj Shah are the dinner speakers. The Masters of Ceremonies are the Honorable Dan Glickman, 2010 recipient of the Gene White Award and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Susan Neely, CAE, President & CEO of the American Beverage Association.

Senator George McGovern first awarded the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition to Gene White in 2004 at the inaugural A Possible Dream Gala in Washington, DC. Other past recipients of the award include Senator George McGovern (D-SD), Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), Dr. Josephine Martin, the Honorable Catherine Bertini, Edward Cooney, Marshall Matz, and the Honorable Dan Glickman.

In addition to the presentation of the award to Senator Lugar, GCNF will honor the Individual Industry Member of the Year, Jill Conklin, Director of Sales Development, Winston Industries, and SNA’s Outstanding Director of the Year, Mary Kate Harrison, General Manager, Hillsborough County School District, Tampa, FL.

For ticket information, visit the GCNF website, www.gcnf.org, or contact Nicole Bernard at 301-686-3150/nbernard@schoolnutrition.org.

Upcoming FRAC Webinar

FRAC is hosting a webinar on Thursday, February 3, 2011 from 1-2 pm EST entitled “What You Need to Know about Improving and Streamlining Access to School Meals for Low-income Children.”  In this webinar, speakers will discuss key provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which will result in easier access to free meals for low-income children. Speakers will outline action steps that advocates and schools can take right now to improve direct certification systems and school meal application processes. 

Click here to register 

 

 
 
 

 
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